Answering an important question – How often a child should poop
Our Plano pediatricians are your child’s medical partners from birth through the teen years, so it’s our job to support parents in keeping kids healthy each step of the way. Parents who keep track of how often their child goes to the bathroom can spot problems before they become more serious. However, many parents don’t know how often a child should poop.
Determining how often a child should poop
As Plano pediatricians, we know that healthy pooping in children can mean that a child poops once a day, several times a day or even once every two days. How often a child should poop can change with age. It’s common for babies to poop more than once every day, while older children may slow down a little. However, here are some things to look out for.
- Change in frequency. Hard, dry, large bowel movements or pooping that occurs less than three times a week is considered constipation. Loose, watery poop and more frequent trips to the bathroom can be a sign of diarrhea, which can result from a poor diet, illnesses or food poisoning.
- Soiling. This can be a sign of encopresis (fecal incontinence), which occurs when poop hasn’t been passed for too long and can cause a diminished sense of needing to go. Encopresis can be caused by stress, fear of repeated painful or difficult bowel movements, or resistance to potty training.
- Color changes. What a child eats can change the color of the poop, but a change in poop color can also signal other issues. Report to the doctor if her poop is white, which can indicate problems in the liver, or red or black, which suggests that there is blood in the stool.
When a child is experiencing an intestinal illness, many parents find it tempting to give medication right away. It is important to talk to your child’s doctor first. We are available 24 hours a day to advise parents on the best way to help their little ones feel better.
Help staying healthy
Our Plano pediatricians know that it can be hard to convince a child that eating an apple instead of a candy bar now will save trouble in the bathroom later. Our team is here to work with you to help recognize issues and find solutions.
To learn more about how often a child should poop or if you have other questions about your child’s health, contact our office.